Banquet Frozen Dinners Court The Old-Fogey Demographic

mealoffortuneFor most consumer items, you want to attract customers who are as young as possible in order to win their brand loyalty for life. In the frozen dinner business, that’s become a problem, because people under age 40 or so simply aren’t interested in frozen meals, no matter how fresh and healthy the packages proclaim them to be.

ConAgra, for one, is solving this problem for now by marketing their Healthy Choice and Banquet meal brands to older Americans. Specifically, they’re targeting the audience of the game show “Wheel of Fortune,” which skews heavily toward people who are your parents’ age.

Sure, seniors are old, but they aren’t dead, and many of them aren’t keen on cooking a full meal for only one or two people. That makes older Americans a perfect target market for frozen dinners, and that’s ConAgra’s strategy. Convincing the kale-munching millennial masses that frozen dinners are a valid food choice can come later.

The promotion is for their bargain-priced Banquet brand, which consists of classic American dishes that appeal to older diners. For the promotion, called Meal of Fortune, codes will come in Banquet frozen dinners. During the broadcast of “Wheel of Fortune,” the show will draw random codes to win fabulous cash and prizes without even spinning a wheel.

More people cooking meals at home, while it might warm the hearts of personal finance bloggers and lead to healthier eating, is bad for the frozen food industry as a whole: they just haven’t captured the attention and freezers of Americans between 20 and 40 yet.

How Do You Sell Frozen Meals to Older Folks? Spin the Wheel… [Wall Street Journal]